Leading in Christian ministry can be deeply rewarding and joyful; it can also at times be costly and demanding for ministers and their families.
We have various support elements in place for clergy and licensed lay ministers to:
- assist you in building resilience for current and future change
- increase your day-to-day capacity and confidence
- support you to thrive in your life and ministry
These support elements include:
A Resilience Day for new Incumbents
Once annually (usually in September) a Resilience workshop is offered to all newly appointed incumbents. Called ‘Performance Under Pressure’ it is delivered by a psychologist from Cognacity, leading UK training providers in this field. These workshops have been delivered both face-to-face and on ‘zoom’.
A type of support and development offered to clergy at any stage through a series of 1-2-1 confidential conversations by those who have been trained in this field. All our coaches have completed or are in process of completing ICF accreditation and have signed up to the EMCC Code of Ethics.
Coaching is focussed on the agenda of the coachee. It is for the coachee to harness their own internal resources and explore ideas and potential solutions with a confidential ‘sounding board’, someone who can ask good questions, listen and notice what they hear by reflecting back. Coaching is paid for by drawing down the CMD annual grant. If your grant for the year is already spent, a CMD Adviser can authorise additional support through coaching where ministers are navigating particular change issues. Coaching may be used to support the transition into a new role, support leaders through organisational change, and assist strategic thinking
Benefits of coaching include:
- increased self-awareness and emotional intelligence
- improved working relationships and personal impact
- increased motivation and performance in role
- improved direction and focus
- increased resourcefulness and resilience to handle change
- improved interpersonal skills
Coaching is not training, or counselling or a way of solving problems for you. It is not open-ended but is a relatively short-term programme of up to 6 sessions usually completed within a year.
An integral part of the induction programme, mentoring is a confidential relationship for new incumbents or new Area Deans that will normally last 12 months. The Area CMD Adviser will discuss with your Bishop or Archdeacon who might be a well-matched mentor for you and put you in contact, with a copy of the guidelines for mentors and mentees. Ideally the mentor will be close by, but not in the same deanery.
Training in offering Supervision
Supervision training is a standard part of the programme every year for those who will be training incumbents or will support the development of lay ministers, pastoral assistants or authorised local preachers.
Action Learning Sets
An action learning set is a group of colleagues who meet together to increase their learning around real issues they face. The focus is on the learning rather than the issues. Action learning sets are a dynamic way of learning, leading to change. They are a safe trusting confidential place; a place that allows people to be challenged. They are about empowerment; every person can realise how resourceful they are. They are not a ‘dumping ground’ or about advice-giving. Set members are there to ask questions, make observations and give the presenter space to reflect. Action learning is sometimes called ‘many-to-one coaching’ and can be a good way of going on developing skills for people who have done the 48 hour Transforming Conversations programme. If you’d like to be part of an Action Learning set, or bring a group of colleagues together to form one, email the Wellbeing Lead or contact your Area CMD Adviser.
Mediation is an agreed process whereby the parties involved in a situation of conflict agree to work together to resolve/plan the way forward involving peace-making strategies. It is a specialist field of support and will normally be offered at no financial cost to the parties. We use a combination of Mediators within the Diocese trained through a recognised and nationally accredited course, and occasionally, where it is more appropriate, external trained mediators (who may charge for their services). For advice about mediation contact your Area CMD Adviser or Archdeacon.
BridgeBuilders are the main training provider offering a foundation 1 week Transforming church conflict programme as well as other more advanced courses. To contact an independent freelance consultant who has a strong background in church and charity work follow the link to Ruth Adams Conflict Resilience.
Addressing Conflict and Conflict Resilience
As part of the programme for curates and newly licensed lay ministers the Diocese offers a one-day Introduction to Church Conflict programme where we encourage attendance in pairs from a parish. This is the base level training that would serve as a starter before doing a BridgeBuilders longer course (see above). It is open to any serving lay ministers, clergy or churchwardens who would like to brush up on some of the basics in coping with church conflict.
The ReSource Alongside Scheme
The Alongside Scheme is external to the Diocese and offered by Anglican Renewal Ministries. Their calling is to ‘little, local and ordinary churches’. Alongside supports church leaders in the whole of their lives, both their ministry context and their personal life of prayer. A trained ReSource Companion undertakes to meet with a church leader on a mutually agreed pattern, online and/or in person, and commits to pray for the church leader. To find out more go to https://www.resource-arm.net/Alongside
Mental Health First Aid Awareness
MHFAA training is offered as part of the curacy programme and offered to all wellbeing champions. To access other courses which can be paid for out of a minister’s CMD grant, please contact Andy at https://qawah.co.uk/training/. Andy has a background in youth, church and charity work and offers regular fully accredited First Aid for Mental Health courses as well as free drop-in brush-up sessions.
It is expected that every member of the clergy and every licensed lay minister will have a spiritual director, soul friend, or equivalent. Spiritual Directors are men and women, lay and ordained, who come from a wide variety of backgrounds and Christian churches, who share a calling to support others on their journey into the love of God. Spiritual direction, sometimes known as spiritual accompaniment starts with how God is working with an individual. It involves meeting with a director on a regular basis, and offers accountability, insights and wisdom for the journey with God. Most directors will have undertaken training and will themselves receive supervision.
This relationship is confidential, and there is no expectation that the identity of the spiritual director would be known by anyone else.
Counselling is offered in the Diocese through BACP accredited counsellors on a relatively short-term basis to address a particular critical incident or issue that has arisen or been experienced in a person’s life. It is confidential.
An established process providing ministers with the framework for regular review and development of their ministry.
PCCs are expected to support their ordained and licensed ministers by enabling them to take a proper day off and holidays, and by covering their working expenses, supporting additional relevant Ministerial Development, purchasing appropriate books and journals, and financing an annual retreat.